Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Tribute to My Gorgeous Parents

I accidently stumbled upon these photos of my amazingly gorgeous parents and their little pink first-born (me). I believe this was my first Easter and we are looking quite dashing. I am not sure why I have two hats! I do like the car.

Mom and Dad were about 24 years young at the time. The year being 1960.
Looks like Mom was a little better at keeping my dress down over my chubby knees.

There I am with my first Easter basket! I am guessing by the furniture that we are at Grandmother Harrison's house in East Orange, New Jersey. We all lived there during my first year.

I found notes that my mom wrote in my baby book.
"Anita Ann is a very fat baby."
Six months later "Anita Ann is still fat."
I think I was cursed. Perhaps it was all the goodies under the cellophane.
Happy Easter to everyone in advance!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Decisions! Decisions!

My first baby is about to graduate high school. That in itself is hard to believe.
This year we have been visiting colleges, filling out applications, writing essays, submitting portfolios, etc. etc. etc.

Annelise wants to major in animation. That pretty much eliminated the possibility of state schools. We did visit two.

We then began visiting Art Schools. Our first was the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster. I liked it because there were only 300 students and it was close, in Lancaster. Annelise liked it. Second visit was to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. They had a wonderful animation program, but the rest of the school was limited. The basic science, math and language classes, but no fine arts.

Because I had the swine flu, Doug took her to University of the Arts in Philadelphia. UArts is located in the cultural district next to the Kimmel Center and the Academy of Music. Annelise loved it! They also have music, theatre and communication art programs. She met with an animation student who showed her some of the "stuff" he was working on. We also went to a Portfolio Day at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Annelise didn't think much of it as they seemed highly critical of her portfolio. A week later they sent her a letter telling stating that her portfolio showed a lot of potential.

I told her she should apply. I did hear that MICA was an excellent school.

We went for her portfolio review at UArts and got an acceptance letter AND a big scholarship within a week. Annelise was happy. I was happy. We also got an acceptance letter from PCAD two days after her interview and portfolio review. (back-up plan)

I still helped her put her five pages of application, four pages of application for scholarship, on-line portfolio, three essays, three letters of recommendation, lists of extra curriculars, SAT tests, transcripts, etc. together by the MICA February 12th due date. They sent us a card that they received it. They sent us a big envelope but it was not an acceptance letter. It was five new four-page scholarship applications. Each scholarship needs a separate application. We had a week to get them filled out and turned in to them. We also received a separate letter stating that we missed the financial aid deadline. I turned in the FAFSA, which is standard at every other institution, but that is not enough for MICA. I cannot get that in until our tax returns get back from the accountant.

Anyway, MICA stated that acceptance letters would go out on the 12th (Friday). The deadline for getting the scholarship forms to MICA was today (the 15th). We hadn't gotten our acceptance letter yet. Neither Annelise nor I felt like filling out all the forms and finding all the supporting documents without knowing if she was accepted. We were very tired of the process and suspicious of an institution that seems so in love with paperwork.

Of course we got the acceptance letter today AFTER the post office closed.

So we basically blew our chances there as we cannot afford MICA without a scholarship.
Annelise made her decision. She wants to go to UArts in Philly. Why is it that I will always feel guilty about having missed the MICA opportunity? But then again, it would take another month before we hear about MICA scholarships. Those letters will not go out until April 15th.

Furthermore, Annelise and I cannot stand to prolong this process. We are ready to move on. But why do I always worry about the road not taken?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Solo Fiasco

My "big" opening is Friday. My first "solo". It is not taking place in a fancy gallery. It is not on Gallery Row in Lancaster where I used to exhibit as a resident artist.

Instead, I have a little room in an old Victorian house. The proprietor requested 40 paintings. I could only fit 29. (A few are on the large side). This is a collegetown coffee house, complete with cappuccino, live music and exhibiting artists I'm told.

The day before I delivered my paintings, she asked if I could supply the postcards. She didn't have the budget to do such things. (I'm missing the Red Raven already). She booked me for this show way back in October. She tells me this on February 26th. I designed and ordered postcards on Zazzle, in between picking up some framing which cost me a pretty penny. Needless to say they arrived two days ago.

When I get to my "room" I am instructed to lay out the paintings to decide what goes where. "She" had to "balance" the colors, landscapes with still lives, so on and so forth.

I had two abstract mixed media paintings framed for this event. They looked phenomenal after framing.

Proprietress P was not impressed. "The room is not feeling the abstracts" she says. Well okay then. "And this community doesn't appreciate nudes..." (I just framed that one too).

Then she asks if I have labels to specifically fit on her little Victorian moulding that some of my paintings are sitting upon.

After seeing my prices she exclaimed, "I hope 'your guests' are going to spend lots of money here." After adhering the aforementioned adhesives, I proceed to the coffee counter to buy a cup for Doug. My beloved husband, who Proprietress called my grunt. Meanwhile, Ms. P. was conversing with a customer, discussing why she prefers working with musicians over artists. (Musicians are more organized and businesslike apparently).

During this week, I decided to email Ms. P to ask whether they will be providing refreshments for "my guests". Or Should I provide something and by the way, what did you tell me you wanted in commission.

She tells me she makes no money unless the art sells. (She implies that she is doing me a "huge" favor by letting me use her wall. Her commission on any work sold is 40%. There will be two "barristas" selling coffee and pastries. I can't provide the customary wine and cheese because it conflicts with her restaurant. I should provide prints for $40.00 because people can't afford my paintings. I tell her it costs me $35.00 to make each print. If I sell them for $40.00, less her 40%,well, you do the math.

So if I sound a little less than enthusiastic, now you know why. I paint because I love to paint. I am definitely not in it for the money. My paintings are generally priced in the $300 to $800 range. I have to "up" the price a little because galleries take between 25-40%. Framing is expensive as well .

I had gum surgery today. I have been prescribed Vicoden. I am no longer feeling pain. I am quite "HAPPY" at the moment. So please do not feel bad for me despite my rant. When it is all said and done, I can now put a solo show on my resume! I suppose she will bad-mouth me if my paintings do not sell. I'm okay with the fact that my paintings are not selling off the walls. I am in no hurry to "get rid" of them. I just want people to see them. I get much better feedback from bloggers than I do at any gallery. I am happier when I give away a painting. (I will just go broke doing it) I donated two prints to a charity this month as well.

So please! Don't buy any of my paintings from Proprietress P.